Bill Belichick is praised almost endlessly by his players. And by everyone else in the world for that matter.
For good reason, the coach has led his troops in New England to four Super Bowl rings and unprecedented consistent winning in his 16-plus years in Foxborough.
But another coach with the last name Belichick is also now drawing praise from Patriots players.
The Boston Globe notes that Patriots Pro Bowl safety Devin McCourty had plenty of good things to say about New England's recently-promoted, first-year safeties coach Steve Belichick.
"I think it's really encouraging. Steve's a guy that's been here and just been a sponge learning everything. It's been cool for me. I've been here since he got here, and just to see how much he's developed and worked hard, and it seems like he's always here, so he's very excited to be the safety coach and have a good group coming," McCourty said, joking that the younger Belichick's "dad is a pretty good coach."
Once seen as the "safe" option near the top of the NFL Draft, the Globe says that the tackle position hasn't provided the so-called "locks" that it supposedly once did.
The Boston Herald says that New England's three AFC East rivals are still very much chasing the Patriots as they approach another chance to add talent in next week's NFL Draft. Newly-signed New England running back addition Donald Brown also met with the media on Thursday, talking about the fact that he's only played for top-notch QBs in his career with the Colts, Chargers and now Patriots.
The Herald notes that tight end Rob Gronkowski downplayed the idea that he has a problem with his contract, a topic he created himself with a tweet earlier this offseason. "That's not on my mind at all," Gronkowski says.
ESPNBoston.com says the veteran free agent addition Brown could be in a direct competition this summer with third-year player James White for a running back roster spot in New England. The site also notes McCourty talking about his new positional coach with a famous last name.
ESPN.com has a humorous, wide-ranging Q&A with Gronk and Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, with the Seahawks defender acknowledging that "Touchdown Tom" Brady is the best quarterback in the NFL. The site also has a story on the duo working together as product pitch men.
CSNNE.com looks at the issue of NFL kickoffs and how it relates to Bill Belichick. CSNNE.com also notes that McCourty likes the talent additions the Patriots have made on paper this spring, but the captain knows it's far more important how all the players come together through the process as a team.
NFL.com says the 49ers and Redskins have emerged as the frontrunners to land free agent former Panthers cornerback Josh Norman. The league site also looks at the draft needs of each of the four AFC East teams, saying the Patriots biggest needs are DE, T and CB.
A NESN.com mailbag wonders if Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles should be a Patriots trade target on draft weekend.
USA Today says the Patriots are not dwelling on their lost first-round pick.